Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Buffalo

Special Olympics Holds Polar Plunge

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HAMBURG, N.Y. -- More than a thousand hardy western New Yorkers put their best foot forward for a good cause, and then put their other foot into cold Lake Erie for the sixth annual Polar Plunge.

An estimated 1,200 people waded, ran, and dove into the water at Woodlawn State Park, raising money for Special Olympics of New York.

Only about two dozen people were part of the first polar plunge in Hamburg, and now organizers say this is one of the largest in the state.

"You know, you'd like to say it's for a good cause, but it's a bucket list thing," said Renee Snyder of Special Olympics New York. "People like to tell people 'Hey, I jumped into the freezing cold water.'"

Lake water temperature was about 45 degrees.

Organizers say the event raised between $130,000 and $150,000, which will go to support more than 50-thousand Special Olympic athletes.

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